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Strengthening the Aftermarket with Technical Data

The German trade magazine »kfz-betrieb« and the German Federation for Motor Trades and Repairs (ZDK) organised an event for owners and managers of independent workshops, “Fachtagung Freie Werkstätten”, in Würzburg on 14 October 2023.

Tobias Roth, Vice President Information Management at TecAlliance, spoke at the panel discussion about the importance of technical data or repair and maintenance information for the independent market and the current developments at EU level with regard to cooperation with vehicle manufacturers. At the TecAlliance exhibition stand, TecAlliance showed how the TecAlliance TecRMI solution and the TecRMI Service Book make the work of independent workshops much easier. 

More than 350 participants came to Würzburg to get valuable tips and suggestions for their own operations in practical presentations, panel discussions and live demonstrations under the guiding theme “The seven biggest challenges for automotive businesses and how to tackle them”. For over 30 years this conference has been addressing the problems, concerns and hardships of the independent automotive aftermarket and has developed into a unique forum for independent workshops.

Challenges in accessing vehicle information

During the panel discussion, Tobias Roth, Michael Köhrmann (repair-pedia), Konstantinos Silaidos (Alldata) and Siegfried Trede (DAT) answered the questions of “kfz-betrieb” editor Steffen Dominsky on the topic of technical data and repair and maintenance information. Access to this data is essential for independent workshops and therefore also a recurring topic at EU level.

“The EU is trying to strengthen competition between vehicle manufacturers and the independent aftermarket, but unfortunately the reality still looks somewhat different. The laws and regulations leave room for interpretation and the vehicle manufacturers partly ignore the decisions of the EU. For example, content sometimes ‘disappears’ from the information portals provided by some vehicle manufacturers. The increasingly necessary diagnostic information, for instance, will then only be available in the vehicle manufacturers’ diagnostic devices. This is a big challenge for us as a supplier of technical data and information.” Tobias Roth, Vice President Information Management

Association activities lead to success

ADPA, the European Association of Independent Publishers of Automotive Data, aims to ensure fair access to automotive data and information and to create a competitive environment for independent publishers of technical data. TecAlliance is a member of ADPA and Ralf Pelkmann, Executive Vice President Information Management, is President of the association.

A judgement by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on 5 October 2023 could be a milestone in removing anti-competitive barriers imposed by vehicle manufacturers. This judgement builds on the law case that ADPA and the GVA, the industry association representing interests of the independent automotive parts wholesaler in Germany, also obtained from the European Court of Justice last year (C390/21). It underlines once more that vehicle manufacturers have to let independent operators not only access, but also process and use technical information. In addition, vehicle manufacturers cannot impose other conditions than the ones expressly mentioned in Type-Approval Regulation 2018/858 for such access.

On the occasion of the pronouncement of the judgement, Ralf Pelkmann stated on behalf of the ADPA:

“With this judgment, the ECJ secures undiscriminated access to in-vehicle technical information for legitimate operators, and therefore fairer competition in the automotive aftermarket. It benefits our entire ecosystem and, beyond, end-consumers, who will continue to have a real choice of where to get their vehicle properly serviced with competitive and innovative solutions.” Ralf Pelkmann, Executive Vice President Information Management

ADPA is highly involved in the shaping of EU regulations, such as type-approval or block exemption regulations (BER). Here, ADPA acts in two ways:

“On the one hand, ADPA is consulted by the members of the European Union to reflect the view and situation of the independent aftermarket. On the other hand, the association is before the European Court of Justice to fight against the ever-increasing prices for vehicle information. ADPA’s aim is to strengthen and maintain fair competition in the free spare parts and repair market!” Ralf Pelkmann

Great interest in data solutions for independent workshops

TecAlliance was also represented with a stand in the exhibition area of the “Fachtagung Freie Werkstätten”. TecRMI Sales Managers Bastian Münch and Kevin Gerbig showed the numerous visitors how the repair and maintenance information, which is obtained and standardised directly from the vehicle manufacturers, is used in the TecRMI solution.

“TecRMI supports almost every process step in the workshop, whether direct acceptance, spare parts ordering, workshop planning or invoicing. In direct acceptance, for example, with our checklists, in the identification of pending work with our Service Finder, via the logical suggestion of additional spare parts or work steps, in the creation of cost estimates and so on. The intelligent linking of manufacturer-compliant repair and maintenance information with our wide range of other aftermarket data makes workshops’ daily work easier. With TecRMI, they can make their processes more efficient and save costs.” Kevin Gerbig, Sales Manager TecRMI

Simply record service book entries digitally

Visitors to the stand also showed great interest in the TecRMI Service Book. The online tool offers a simple and standardised process with which workshops can digitally record the work performed and transmit service book entries for currently 15 vehicle manufacturers. A comparison with TecRMI data ensures that the maintenance work is carried out and documented in accordance with the manufacturer. Open service bulletins and active recalls can also be crosschecked for the specific VIN, which in many cases is required by the manufacturer.

“Today, access to our TecRMI database often takes place via the systems of wholesale dealers. This means that our repair and maintenance information is integrated in a spare parts catalogue or in a DMS, for example. With TecRMI Online, we also offer a stand-alone online solution through which customers can access the data directly. This offers particularly great synergy effects in combination with the TecRMI Service Book”. Bastian Münch, Sales Manager TecRMI

The vehicle information, VIN, main and additional works as well as the used parts are transferred directly from TecRMI Online for the digital service book entry. The workshop only has to enter additional information required by individual manufacturers, such as the engine oil used or the tread depth of the tyres.

Overall, the conference for independent workshops and service companies was a great success. It became clear that the operators of independent workshops are very interested in innovative solutions and possibilities for increasing efficiency and optimising workshop processes. In addition to pure information, the focus was also on personal exchange.

You missed the event? The TecAlliance TecRMI team is happy to answer any questions and present the TecAlliance solutions in a live demo. Make an appointment now!


TecAlliance GmbH
Steinheilstraße 10
85737 Ismaning
VAT nummer: DE212306071

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